APEC Workshop on Fiscal Management through Transparency and Reforms
As the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) host, the Philippines has been holding various meetings and workshops geared toward promoting APEC goals throughout the country. Under the Finance Ministers’ Process, the APEC Workshop on Fiscal Management through Transparency and Reforms was held last June 9-10 in Bagac, Bataan. The event brought together delegates, transparency advocates, and representatives from finance ministries in a series of discussions on fiscal innovation toward good governance and inclusive growth. It was organized by the Department of Finance (DOF), and the agenda was jointly formulated with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Open Data Task Force.
Day 1 focused on open governance and transparency reforms, while the Day 2 sessions revolved around tax transparency and other forms of international cooperation. Speakers and participants included representatives from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Open Data Institute (ODI), and the World Bank, among other organizations.
From the Open Data Task Force, Undersecretary Richard Moya of DBM facilitated Session 2: Delivering Good and Open Governance through Open Data. In his introduction, he spoke about open data and its value in promoting economic growth, improving service delivery, and deepening public participation. He elaborated on its promise to unlock massive commercial and economic value, among other motivations to practice open data. He also invited APEC delegates to imagine how their economies can harness all this potential in their fiscal policy and management processes.
Other sessions touched on concrete manifestations of this application. During the afternoon of June 9, panelists discussed open budget practices, budget transparency reforms, open contracting, open procurement, and policy reform.
Another session—held the following day—focused on openness in the extractives sector. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) led the discussion about EITI processes and standards, and how openness benefits the management and regulation of the extractives sector. Specific learning experiences were revealed, including how the discovery of gaps in the PH-EITI regulatory environment led to more informed decision- and policy-making in this sector. This session coincided with another event, the Joint Regional EITI Multi-Stakeholder Group Meeting and Data Visualization Boot Camp, which the Open Data Task Force also participated in. Held in Makati, the visualization workshop sought to promote the accessibility and visibility of EITI data.
Collaboration is necessary in any large-scale undertaking. This is why the Open Data Task Force continues to partner with fellow advocates such as the EITI toward the furtherance of our shared agenda. As the APEC Workshop shows, dialogue is likewise indispensable in promoting understanding and cooperation among allies. Through continued partnerships such as these, the Task Force hopes to help advance the pace of transparency reform not only in the Philippines, but also in the APEC region and beyond.